Without a doubt, the landscape of Jay Peak Resort has completely changed in the last decade.
Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on a new hotel, golf course and even a water-park. The once sleepy ski area is now considered by many to be world class destination. But there's an ugly duckling tucked away from the glitter -- the 50 year-old Stateside Chalet. With its period lighting, picnic tables -- even a funky 'V' roof complete with a small tree -- the building is a throwback to what skiing was. But soon the building itself will be history.
Jay Peak President Bill Stenger isn't so sentimental. "It's a tired old building and there's a little bit of nostalgia, but more anticipation for what's coming, Stenger said. "We are going to have a beautiful new base lodge -- hotel here -- that will service our skiers better."
Stenger says today's customers demand more. The new lodge will be twice as big with a better view of the slopes and a clubhouse feel like the old place.
While Stenger isn't sad to see it go, many skiers, like Kirsten Charron from Montreal, consider it their lodge -- the last of the old Jay Peak. "I'm sad to see this place go, I'm going to miss in there, I'm going to miss the good hearty bunch of people that are in there. It's going to be different with this new establishment," she said.
While some compare it to a comfortable old shoe, others say its more an outdated locker room. "It's old and run down, smells kind of... The bathroom don't work all the time," said Kevin Szych of Montgomery.
But on Saturday what ever side you're on, it was a party to remember a building that will be no more by the end of the month. It was called 'Shake Down Chalet' -- A tail gating blowout complete with food and music.
"What were hoping is with the new facility that will be able to maintain that local feel -- a place we know we can come and meet," said Bob Trembley of Newport.
Saying goodbye to an old friend, while welcoming a new one.
The new building will cost $25 million. Stenger said the project will be done before the next ski season.
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